General practitioner on an island: How research and innovation help to improve primary care

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    This thesis presents three medical problems with which I was confronted as a GP on Ameland (one of the Wadden islands north of the Netherlands): the ‘Amelander Krankheit’, ticks and trauma care in particular teleradiology. The epidemiological part describes the search for the source of the ‘Amelander Krankheit’: the existence of Campylobacter Jejuni in raw milk. I also show that despite a large number of contaminated ticks (with Borrelia burgdorferi or other tick-related bacteria, Ricketsia spp, Babesia spp or Erhlichia spp) on Ameland, the probability of developing Lyme disease or another tick related disease is very small, if the tick is removed correctly.
    The innovation part consists of three studies in the field of teleradiology. The introduction of teleradiology in the general practice results in a reduction in the number of missed fractures, less travelling to the hospital, an increase in a number of fracture treatments in the general practice, considerable cost reductions for health insurance companies and patients and a small profit for the GP/investor, and last but not least very satisfied patients. Teleradiology is thus a good example of the cost-effective transfer of health care from hospital to primary health care centre.
    This thesis therefore shows that by doing scientific research GPs can contribute to the evolution of primary health care, the further development of the GP profession, and the understanding of illnesses. GPs should not confine themselves to their clinical task, but also take their societal responsibility to implement new health care developments adequately and cost-effectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Sanderman, Robbert, Supervisor
    • van der Molen, Thys, Supervisor
    • Chavannes, N. H., Assessment committee, External person
    • Coyne, James, Assessment committee
    • Lionis, C., Assessment committee, External person
    Award date1-Jun-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8816-8
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8815-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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